1941 Packard Custom Super Eight One Eighty All-Weather Town Car
Coachwork by Rollson
Vehicle no. 1450-2120
Engine no. OD5835582
Series 1908. 160 hp, 356 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 148 in.
Marking the end of a great era were the final “semi-custom” Packards, catalogued by the company for the 1941 and 1942 model years. By this time only LeBaron and Rollson (formerly Rollston) were offering a limited run of styles; LeBaron produced a sport brougham, a seven-passenger sedan, and a limousine, while Rollson offered an all-weather town car with a traditional open driver’s compartment, for use with a chauffeur. Three Rollson all-weather town cars were produced on the robust 1908 Custom Super Eight One Eighty chassis, at a remarkable cost of nearly $5,000 each, and the example offered here is the sole known survivor.
According to the records of Packard historian, Dr. Charles Blackman, the original owner of this car was Maude Shepard of Palm Beach, Florida. Alice Maude Shepard was the spouse of John Shepard, Jr., one of the founders of the Shepard Stores, well-known department stores in Boston and Providence, Rhode Island; this particular Packard was delivered to her by the Providence dealer, as noted on its original firewall tag, and presumably driven down to her home in Palm Beach.
Later owners were Charles Coney, Allen C. Blume, and Robert Boisson, before the car was acquired by John H. “Jack” Behn, an employee of famed gunmakers Sturm, Ruger and a well-known collector of 1941 Packards who accumulated many of the available body styles. Mr. Behn eventually sold the all-weather town car to Robert Skop, from whom it was acquired by well-known Packard restorer and historian, Bob McKeown. The present owner acquired the car from Mr. McKeown several years ago and has maintained it in his collection since.
The car remains in wonderfully preserved, largely original condition, including much of its Rollson-applied Packard Blue finish and interior, and the beautiful broadcloth upholstery, surrounded by rich woodwork, in the rear compartment. It boasts numerous special and rarely seen features, such as hydraulically operated windows, available for the first time on this season’s Senior Packards; the desirable overdrive transmission; dual sidemounted spares; front and rear license plate brackets; and the classic Cormorant mascot. Most importantly, with recent mechanical service it has been fully sorted, and runs and drives very nicely; the 67,000 miles on the odometer is believed to be original.
This is a wonderful “survivor” semi-custom Packard, ideal for CARavans or simply the social season in Palm Beach!